How can we balance all the technological components of an event? It’s not an easy task, and a popular topic at this month’s Event Tech Talks…
Hosted at 1 Wimpole Street in London, I was joined by Carsten Pleiser, CEO of Event Tech Partner, Matt Wilson, Marketing Manager at D2i Systems, alongside Adam Parry, Founder of Event Tech Talks and Event Industry News (media outlet for the events industry), who moderated the panel.
What is Event Tech Talks? It’s a series of events by Event Industry News, which invites leaders in the industry to discuss a range of topics relating to technology in the events industry. drp has been fortunate enough to participate in a selection of the panels during 2017, such as “What does the Internet of Things mean for events and what will the impact be?”, “How to create great event websites and apps”, “How to get started with AR and VR on a budget”, “Beyond Q&A, how we can engage attendees further?” and “Digital Marketing Tools, Tips, and Tactics.”
Here’s an overview of the points discussed…
Every single part of an event needs to speak to each other and especially with technology, it all must work together and link up. From the registration, to the event app, to the live experience technology on the day. Whoever you are working with, from tech partners, to venue partners or digital partners, it’s important to make everyone feel like they are part of your team, which in turn, ensures stronger partnership and communication.
Matt Wilson commented that they try to engage their clients as much as possible, and make sure that they have a level of control and involvement. This ensures that they also know how to use it and make it work. There is no exact science to it, but there must be a partnership and communication between both parties.
At drp, we have a digital department that caters to all of our events and client projects where appropriate, so in terms of managing multiple vendors it is not something we often do. I agreed with Carsten when he said that event planners have one of the most stressful jobs, so they shouldn’t be responsible for the added task of integrating multiple technologies and vendors. This should be happening without it being forced, and the vendors should be happy to be making partnerships in order to create better results for the client overall.
Best in craft
Whichever vendors you decide to use, it is vital to find the best of the best and the ones that suit you, your clients and your objectives. Also, if you have been using certain technologies and vendors for a number of years, don’t be afraid to try something new and switch things up. Internally at drp we have Callum Gill, who is Head of Insight and Innovation, and Callum’s job is delve into what is next for our clients’ industries, and the technological solutions we should be bringing in.
Essentially, it all comes down to your clients’ needs and finding solutions for them. So, if you are going to have multiple technologies, and if you are going to integrate them, then you must have good reasons behind it. For our clients, if we do not currently provide certain services to them, but have the offering, then we will approach the client to show how it will work for them. There are some companies that claim that they can do everything, but they don’t, and so sometimes just be wary about what is being provided.
drp has grown organically and our growth has come from responding to our client’s needs and creating solutions for them. We have created a suite of products to suite all events – event apps, websites, table iPads, registrations, digital game solutions, and more. Ultimately, it is about solutions for our clients and finding out what is best for them. If you want to integrate other agencies to get a solution, you do have to balance the management of those agencies, and they must work together. It is also worth mentioning that if your solution isn’t as good as someone else’s, then you should either improve yours, or work together with that company.
Additionally, with technology, it is always about the human interaction and the data and there is normally not a conversation about that data beforehand, but there should be. Getting your vendors and technologies to talk to each other and share data is essential in order for them to work to the best of their potential. Ask the organiser – what kind of data do you have to transform from one place to another, and how can we make it better or easier?
Everything should come back to return on the investment and how important the value of it is. If it adds value and makes an impact on the event, then it is worth doing.
See the panel in full here: YouTube link to the panel
Ben Wallace – Director of drpdigital